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Could supporting gay marriage help the GOP?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:18 pm - November 10, 2012.
Filed under: Gay Marriage,Republican Resolve & Rebuilding

Few advocates for gay marriage make a strong argument for expanding the defining of the institution. They talk about “rights” and “equality” without appreciating the meaning of marriage.

By saying, for example, that we only have a right to marriage when the state recognizes it, they imply that marriage is a creature of the state — and in the absence of that government-issued certificate has no existence whatsoever.  And yet marriage existed long before any government ever recognized it.  And exists today even in the absence of state recognition.

Some gay marriage advocates do get the meaning of the institution; that’s why I have referenced Jonathan Rauch repeatedly in my posts on the topic. But, now in her piece offering some tips on how Republicans can take back the majority, Megan McArdle recognizes that marriage is more than just a “right” (or a question of “equality”):

The GOP would also help itself with those people by embracing gay marriage. To be sure, this might cause them some problems with the evangelical base whose organizing support is crucial to Republican get-out-the-vote efforts. But the GOP could assuage that tension by promulgating a hard-core, Republican version of gay and straight marriage. That’s why they should pair it with making marriage mandatory, and eliminating no-fault divorce. The message should be that if everyone can get married, then there’s no really excuse not to be.

(Via Instapundit.) Now, I don’t like the idea of making marriage mandatory, but do like the notion of pairing gay marriage with eliminating no-fault divorce. It shows that she understands the institution to be more than just a contract between individuals.

Seven years ago, as Jane Galt, McArdle wrote A really, really, really long post about gay marriage that does not, in the end, support one side or the other. I read it back then; it’s well worth your time.

McArdle is one of the few people who has written intelligently about gay marriage.  Would it that there were more like her!

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112 Comments

  1. 99. Considering the advent of iTunes stateside, album sales going platinum is impressive. You are correct, the 80s were a time when it was much easier to go platinum. And considering clarkson has been in the public eye for a decade now, she’s more than just a flash in the pan.

    I can’t comment on her politics. But true libertarians are against bans on gay marriage and considering her fan base, social circles, and generation, it was an issue deep in her heart. When they choice became between Romney or Obama, she went with the one who supported marriage equality.

    Republicans would be wise to take note.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — November 12, 2012 @ 1:58 pm - November 12, 2012

  2. Tea Party or not, Republicans are the same as they ever were.

    How do you figure?

    I get what you’re doing – you want to be able to say that everything that happened before 2009 should be ignored and forgotten.

    What you’re doing is saying that, regardless of what the Republicans do now, or how many new Republicans are in office that weren’t there when Bush was president, they should be held accountable for Bush’s misdeeds. And, no, that is not what I’m saying at all. I would like to see those irresponsible Republicans get thrown out of office.

    And you’re just so sure that this new batch of Republicans has a different set of economic principles, even though they haven’t had the power or responsibility to implement them. They just say they have different economic principles, and you believe them?

    So I’m supposed to prefer people that I know have economic principles I disagree with just because the Tea Party Republicans might be lying. I’m not sure how that is supposed to work.

    Obama inherited that disaster when it was still at risk of spiraling out of control, and the economy has stabilized and has somewhat begun to recover.

    Economies are cyclical and go through periods of growth and periods of recession. Various factors affect this cycle. Nothing the government can do can mitigate the cycle; it generally just exacerbates it when it tries. The 2008 recession was going to happen one way or the other, eventually, regardless of who was in office or what policies they implemented. If you aren’t even going to bother with trying to determine the actual cause of the 2008 recession rather than just say whatever is most convenient for you, there is no point in discussing it.

    As for Obama’s policies, even by his own criteria, he failed in his efforts to try to get the economy to recover, while substantially increasing the debt. There is nothing good about Obama’s fiscal policy.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 12, 2012 @ 4:45 pm - November 12, 2012

  3. Livewire, I’m not really interested in discussing such minutiae. I said that natural law isn’t always clear cut. One thought I have is to administer some sort of “adulthood test” after which, upon passing the test, you would be considered a legal adult.

    I would like to know, though, what you suggest as an alternative. If the government established these age of consent laws arbitrarily, what is to stop them from abolishing them or moving them back down?

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 12, 2012 @ 4:54 pm - November 12, 2012

  4. How do we proceed to banish Sharia from Islam? Isn’t that the state meddling in religion. Isn’t that the state defining “acceptable” religion? You do recognize that we have a growing body of Islamists in our country and that they are pushing the nose of the Sharia camel under the tent of our system of justice, don’t you?

    I’m not sure what else I can say. Yes, it is the state defining acceptable religion, which I never said that I have a problem with. Sharia law oppresses people involuntarily, and is therefore morally unacceptable. If that makes the entire religion of Islam unacceptable, so be it.

    Tell me, please, what you would like to do in response to the growing Islamist presence.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 12, 2012 @ 4:58 pm - November 12, 2012

  5. I would like to know, though, what you suggest as an alternative. If the government established these age of consent laws arbitrarily, what is to stop them from abolishing them or moving them back down?

    To be honest? Us.

    It’s society that raised the age of consent. It’s society that will keep it up or lower it.

    To use NAMBLA for example. It’s illegal to bugger children. It’s not to lobby for buggering children. Just like it’s illegal for me to own a P-90, but not to lobby for the right to own one.

    So you and I and everyone else are the ones who say what society declares as legal or as right.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 12, 2012 @ 8:41 pm - November 12, 2012

  6. So you and I and everyone else are the ones who say what society declares as legal or as right.

    The problem with that is, if you reject natural law, and if society elects itself into tyranny, no one would be morally justified in forming a militia to try to remove the tyrannical regime or defend themselves from servitude to it. You might argue that you would be morally justified in doing so even though it is against the written law, which would mean you accept natural law on some level.

    As for the age of consent (and other unclear issues), perhaps it is best to make these arbitrary decisions when needed (and that doesn’t mean giving the government more power than it is entitled to). But that doesn’t change the fact that there is one objective truth in the matter, it is just that don’t know exactly what it is. All I know for certain is that there is a difference between children and adults regarding their ability to make rational decisions, and this is based on when the brain becomes fully developed. Scientific research into this field should eventually elucidate the objective truth regarding at what age one becomes fully mature, and hence what the age of consent should be.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 12, 2012 @ 9:48 pm - November 12, 2012

  7. Rattlesnake,

    Stop and ponder. I treated the position in #1 of this thread with ridicule and sarcasm and irony and you jumped with both feet on the Islam and little boys part of my litany as if that were the point. Now you have admitted that Sharia and Islam may be a problem to letting the people and the churches define marriage without any government input.

    My job seems to have come to a conclusion.

    But just for the slake of clarity and the strong choice of muddying the waters, allowing same sex marriage and disallowing multiple marriage has no logic to it. And I am not so certain that close kinship is any problem for same sex marriage as they are not going to reproduce. So, I am always interested in some argument against the slippery slope that isn’t just a bunch of hoopla about “common sense” or even natural law.

    Comment by heliotrope — November 12, 2012 @ 9:56 pm - November 12, 2012

  8. Now you have admitted that Sharia and Islam may be a problem to letting the people and the churches define marriage without any government input.

    I did no such thing. You’re obviously not understanding my point.

    But just for the slake of clarity and the strong choice of muddying the waters, allowing same sex marriage and disallowing multiple marriage has no logic to it.

    I don’t disagree.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 12, 2012 @ 10:22 pm - November 12, 2012

  9. Yes, it is the state defining acceptable religion, which I never said that I have a problem with. Sharia law oppresses people involuntarily, and is therefore morally unacceptable. If that makes the entire religion of Islam unacceptable, so be it.

    That led me to write this:

    Now you have admitted that Sharia and Islam may be a problem to letting the people and the churches define marriage without any government input.

    To which you responded:

    I did no such thing. You’re obviously not understanding my point.

    Comment by heliotrope — November 12, 2012 @ 10:44 pm - November 12, 2012

  10. I’m not sure what this has to do with marriage:

    Yes, it is the state defining acceptable religion, which I never said that I have a problem with. Sharia law oppresses people involuntarily, and is therefore morally unacceptable. If that makes the entire religion of Islam unacceptable, so be it.

    If what you are saying is that I’m saying the government should be able to restrict marriage if it violates natural law, then, yes, I am saying that and I never suggested otherwise. But that is covered by other things that don’t explicitly have anything to do with marriage. To illustrate my point: if, for example, there was a religion in which marriage involved kidnapping of some random person and murdering them, obviously the government would (and should) ban that practice.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 13, 2012 @ 3:11 am - November 13, 2012

  11. Rattlesnake,

    Are you aware of honor killings and the control of the movement of women under Sharia and the process of instant marriage and instant divorce and role of the Imam in all of this?

    If not, that is where the problem lies. There are enclaves of Islamic people in the United States who take their direction from the Imam first and the laws of the United States somewhere down the line. They want their right to be governed by Sharia to be recognized as their right.

    Canada has gone (foolishly, in my opinion) too far in protecting Sharia. Here is a little taste of the matter of the nose of the Sharia camel under the tent.

    You can google “Sharia Canada honor killings” or marriage or whatever else might make you curious. Then Google the same for the US and England and Holland and Denmark and Sweden and France and Germany and get in touch with the trend.

    There are cultural forces at work in changing the definition of marriage and gays are not the only such force.

    Where do YOU draw the line besides “natural law” with, like “social justice” has no specific meaning and no clear force for identifying it, enforcing it or find a person innocent of violating it.

    This is not a hostile question. I just wonder if you have a grasp of what you seem to be promoting.

    Comment by heliotrope — November 13, 2012 @ 9:54 am - November 13, 2012

  12. This is not a hostile question. I just wonder if you have a grasp of what you seem to be promoting.

    Yes, I have a grasp of it. I’m still not sure we’re having the same conversation. You seem to be reading in my comments some justification for Sharia law.

    I am familiar with honour killings and the increasing presence of Sharia law in Western countries. And that is something that alarms me, and I’ve written many posts on my blog on this subject, such as this one, which includes some details on what is happening in France.

    There is no ambiguity about whether or not Sharia law violates natural law, and it does. Natural law is a very well-establsihed theory. It cannot compare to “social justice” in vagueness, because it is derived from a very simple premise. I recommend watching the video I linked to in comment #90 if you haven’t already.

    There are enclaves of Islamic people in the United States who take their direction from the Imam first and the laws of the United States somewhere down the line. They want their right to be governed by Sharia to be recognized as their right.

    The problem is that their being governed by Sharia has wider implications. If that “right” also implies the “right” to kill their daughters in the name of honour, or to beat their wives, it isn’t a right that they have. And you seem to understand the consequences of being permissive with regards to the increasing Islamic presence in Western society. What is happening in France, for example, where immigration of Muslims has transformed certain areas into places where the government has lost any control in enforcing its laws, is obviously something that must be avoided. People in those areas have no protection of their rights, and the whole idea of natural law is to ensure that people are granted the rights that they are inherently entitled to (as a product of humans’ capacity to recognize that we have free will).

    Marriage, in this context, is a minor issue. If the government has the ability to define it, that means that churches and other private entities have lost their ability to define it. Again, as long as they don’t define marriage as involving murder or some other illegal practice (many of which are involved in Sharia law, which would therefore make some definitions of marriage under Sharia law inherently invalid and subject to prosecution if practiced), they have the right to define it, for themselves, however they want. And they will have that right regardless of what the government does, but they are on the verge of losing the ability to practice it.

    Comment by Rattlesnake — November 13, 2012 @ 3:25 pm - November 13, 2012

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